Happiness is a warm artichoke – at least for me. My mother, Loretta’s, stuffed artichokes were always a source of comfort. I always looked forward to them. In her later years, when she came to visit us in Atlanta, they were always on my list of favorite things I asked her to make for me. Truth is – you could probably do anything to an artichoke, and I would be sure to like it. It is no wonder then, that a quick and easy recipe for artichoke hearts, in a pinch, in a hurry, or in the months when they are not in season, BAKED ARTICHOKE HEARTS, would become my new best friend.
Now my friend, Joe, who thinks he’s French, I know will try to tell you that this is a French dish – but don’t you believe it! There is nothing French about these lovely little artichoke hearts. They are every bit as Italian as I am. While these little darlings are baking, they will emit a delicious aroma that is unmistakably Italian!
Italians love their artichokes and prepare them in many different ways, baked, breaded, fried, in pie, in soup, with pasta etc. I could go on and on. Of course, there is nothing like a fresh artichoke, or those beautiful fresh baby artichokes that come out in the spring and make us all run to the market to buy up all we can. However, there are times that these wonderful thistles are not available, or we just need them quickly. When those times befall you, this recipe for BAKED ARTICHOKE HEARTS is your ticket. These are easy to make and really delicious. They make a great side dish for any meal indoors or out in the open air.
Secret: (Well, it’s not exactly a secret anymore.) I always keep a can or two of artichoke hearts in my pantry. With as much as I talk about the use of fresh ingredients, there are just some staples that I feel are necessary to have around for such an occasions as this. YES – canned artichoke hearts. When rinsed and drained, they are quite delicious and very easy to work with.
This is a great use for them!
BAKED ARTICHOKES HEARTS
Serves: about 4
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
2 14 oz. Cans halved or quartered artichoke hearts ( you can also use frozen)
2 Cloves Fresh Garlic – chopped finely
Salt and pepper to taste
2 C. Fontina Cheese – grated
4 Tbsp. Fresh Chopped Parsley
2 C. Fresh Breadcrumbs
2/3 C. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Montasio Cheese grated
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzle
Rinse the artichoke hearts, drain them well, and pat them dry.
Arrange them in an oiled baking dish.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle on the chopped garlic.
Spread the grated Fontina over the top.
Add the fresh parsley.
Top with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Montasio, and follow with the fresh breadcrumbs
Drizzle a delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil over the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
If you want to brown the top more – pop the baking dish under the broiler for a couple of minutes until browned the way you like. Be careful not to scorch them.
BAKED ARTICHOKE HEARTS is such a simple side dish to make. You’ll want to make put this one high on the list of recipes with lots of bang for very little effort and time.
PARLA COME MANGI!
Comments are welcome in the “Speak Your Mind Area” beneath this post online.
Food Photos By Tommy Hanks Photography